I get my MRI, a stressful process in itself for someone who is claustrophobic. I know something is seriously wrong when my doctor calls me the next day and asks me to come in right away to discuss the results. My aunty can’t make it in time but one of my best friends Nadia drives me to my doctor to hear the results. My doctor looks shaken and like she has been crying as we walk in. She has been my doctor for many years and supported me through the loss of my mum to cervical cancer and my constant battle with anxiety. She cares for me.
‘It’s now good news’, she says. I grab Nadia’s hand and start crying, as does my doctor. ‘Bonnie I’m so sorry … you have a brain tumour. And it’s malignant’. I take a deep breath in and suddenly I can’t remember what malignant means. I repeat back, ‘I have a brain tumour?’ ‘And malignant … does that mean it’s cancer? Do I have brain cancer?’ Catherine is really crying now. ‘Yes, I’m so sorry, you do. My husband had it. I’m so sorry.’ (I’m not sure if she means he survived or not). My friend just keeps repeating ‘My god, my god’. I’m in absolute shock and bawling now. The only thing I can think to ask is, ‘Will I survive this? Is it going to kill me?! Catherine’s response is chilling in its honesty, ‘I don’t know.’